2. Contextual Background of the Problem 2.1 Green Revolution and Establishment of a Wheat- causes of this problem through questionnaires, interviews with local farmers and a literature review. It is well known that the over-intensive wheat/rice double cropping system in the Punjab region, situated in a semi-arid zone where rice food, has caused various environmental problems such as groundwater depletion (Tiwari et al., 2009) and soil degradation (e.g., Grace et al., 2003; Samra et al., 2003). The Green Revolution in the Punjab can be considered a success, in part, because it transformed the food-poor Indian economy into a self- sufficient one. However, that success was achieved at great environmental and social cost (Ramakrishnan, 2008). In recent years, there has been noticeable criticism of the success of to groundwater depletion and soil degradation (e.g., Glaeser, 1987). However, the burden on the environment now extends not only to natural resources such as water and soil, but also to the clean air that is essential to our lives. This issue is an example of how the changing agricultural system can threaten clean air, which is an essential aspect of public health and human well-being. Rice Double Cropping System The word Punjab is derived from the Persian word panj ab, meaning “five waters.” Originally, the Punjab region referred to the basin of the Indus River and its four tributaries. Under its current administrative divisions, it corresponds to the state of Punjab in Pakistan and the states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh on the Indian side. The Punjab region is situated in a semi-arid zone, and parts of the region receive little precipitation, with an annual rainfall of less than 500 mm. Although some areas in the central part of the Punjab have long been suitable for agriculture, until the 19th century, the rest of the region was semi-arid and arid land unsuitable for farming (D.M. Singh, 2018). Traditional agriculture originally consisted of mixed farming, is, a is not the staple the Green Revolution with regard Under this project, several mitigation options for reducing stubble burning are being tested in the field as possible solutions to this problem. At the end of this project, its findings will be disseminated to government agencies, communities and local residents to provide recommendations for new policies and changes in behavior. This paper introduces the Aakash Project initiative and describes the air pollution problem caused by rice-stubble burning, focusing on the case of Punjab, India. First, the circumstances of the problem are described, and the root causes of the need for stubble burning are discussed in Section 2. Then, the linkage between stubble burning in Punjab and air pollution in Delhi is described in Section 3, and possible solutions to this problem are examined in Section 4. Finally, the future prospects are described in Section 5. Tackling Air Pollution from Agricultural Residue Burning that combination of cultivating wheat and raising livestock (cattle and buffalo). The British, after colonizing the Punjab, expanded the irrigation network of canals and turned parts of the region into a vast agricultural area, primarily in the regions of the Indus River and its tributaries. Sugimoto and Usami (2014) analyzed the historical conditions that made possible the “successful Green Revolution” in the Indian Punjab region: After the 1947 secession, the Punjab region under British rule was divided into the western (Pakistan) and eastern (India) partitions. Many Sikhs and Hindus who had been engaged in agriculture in the western canal colonies migrated to India, bringing with them knowledge of the latest agricultural technology of the time. Furthermore, since the irrigated farmland in the western Punjab was incorporated into Pakistan, Indian government aggressively developed canal irrigation. Most of the irrigation projects promoted by Indian government were either improvements to facilities completed during British rule or realizations of projects that had already been planned, but the Indus River basin was also rich in groundwater from the glaciers of the Himalayas. Since the 1950s, these powerful canal irrigation projects and the widespread use of tube wells have greatly increased the region’s irrigation capacity. As a result, the irrigated area in the Punjab region has increased significantly, leading to increased agricultural production. Starting in the 1960s, with the commencement of the so-called “Green Revolution,” agriculture took on a central role in supporting food production for the populous nation of India. In the late 1960s, new agricultural technologies were introduced, with high- yielding varieties (HYVs) of wheat after the mid-1960s and rice in the early 1970s, accompanied by expansions of irrigation infrastructure and the massive application of fertilizers and chemicals. As a result, rice and wheat productivity in the Punjab increased dramatically (Vatta and Budhiraja, 2021). Details of the changes in land use in the Punjab between 1960 and 2016 are shown in Table 8.1 of Vatta and Budhiraja (2021). In 2016, most of the cultivated land was irrigated and the rate of HYV adoption reached 100%. Fertilizer inputs were 38 times higher in 2014–2015 than in 1965–1966. From the early 1960s 250,000 ha to 2 million ha. During the same period, the wheat hectarage increased from 1.5 million ha to 3.2 million ha. By 2000, more than 80% of the total cultivated land was under rice and wheat. On the other hand, the area under traditional crops–– such as maize, beans, oilseeds, sugarcane and cotton–– has shrunk, and thus the crop diversification index has declined rapidly (Singh et al., 2011; Vatta and Budhiraja, 2021). The introduction of mechanical agricultural technology, such as tractors and combine harvesters, mitigated the demand for labor during the busiest season between harvesting and sowing the next crop, which was another factor that to 1990, the the the rice hectarage increased from 5

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